I didn’t think we’d reflect this way on being 17



God has a funny sense of humor nearly all of the time it seems and the last few weeks have had me laughing a lot.

The arrival of J and I’s 28th birthdays brought lots of thoughts and conversations. January and February were not the easiest months we’ve ever had and there were several “gosh, I wish we weren’t going through this at 28. I guess I just thought we’d be a little further along than we were at 17 or even 23″ conversations. Our 10 year high school reunion would be this May (except I don’t think anyone is planning it- ha) and we’re feeling simultaneously old and young at the same time.

New Years Eve 2005

New Years Eve 2005

J and I are planners. In different ways, sure, but we’ve definitely never been afraid of talking about the future. In fact, I have letters tucked away in a memory tub back in Kansas that he wrote to me, talking about the life we’d have and his purpose on this earth. A favorite line that I can clearly remember is “to teach, be a dad and a husband. That’s what I’m here to do”. 

He wrote that at 17 years old. 

I know, we’re weird. But I do feel like our story starting to unfold during high school alongside a ton of super formative experiences in my family and personal life made that season of life very unique and special. 

Soooooo why am I talking about this? 

Well, this blog post won’t draw any incredible conclusions. But I will say this: 
For my whole life I’ve wanted to adopt and foster children. I’ve always wanted to be a mom but from a young age can remember freaking out about the biological pregnancy stuff. I’m much calmer (read: rational) about it now, having supported countless friends as they’ve brought beautiful babes into this world, but my heart still yearns for children who are already here and specifically, teenagers. 

I don’t know what this will look like in the future. Honestly, for the last year we’ve been praying about entering into the foster care system for this age range but have just been able to find enough barriers to keep us from actually doing it. 

And then we met the girls and I thought “this is fun!” and “what a great learning opportunity God has given us”. But now, almost a year after meeting them, I’m seeing more clearly how those formative years in J and I’s life were shaping us for this part of the journey. 

Nerding out over going to our first Tim Burton movie in theaters. 

Nerding out over going to our first Tim Burton movie in theaters. 

J and I never had to think about having enough to eat when we were 17. We never questioned going to college, we got our drivers licenses and cars the same year, and we always had a comfortable place to sleep. Our families were not perfect, and neither were we, but we had a lot of love, support, and possibility around us. For this I’m grateful. Because now, ten years later, it has only amplified the reality of how much we had; how much we have. 

K is currently staying in our guest room. I’m not sure how long she’ll be here, and that doesn’t really matter, but I know that we’re so glad she’s here. She’s 2 months from turning 18 and 15 months from graduating. This year is her year, it has to be! Her whole life is ahead of her, just like it was for us, and she should have no less opportunities. 

So we treat ourselves to ice cream after long math worksheet nights, bounce out the door early in the morning to get to school and work, try to agree on dinner (which is impossible!), and agree that this life isn’t easy but with Jesus and community it is good, so good. 

Thanks for praying, friends. For this family, for these girls, for K specifically and for us. Most days I still feel like the 17 year old girl in these pictures but clearly, God doesn’t care and is using us regardless 😉 



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